What began as a simple phone call to a friend quickly turned into one of those situations you’ll never forget.

After a couple of sentences of pleasantries, my friend Julie Bestry exclaimed she was dealing with an emergency. “My car has been stolen,” she said.

Car thefts happen. The thing that makes Julie’s story interesting is that she is a professional organizer, one of those people who can be calm and cool in any situation and always have the right information at hand.

This post is all about my interview with Julie Bestry.

The most important parts of the story are:

  1. How you can prevent a similar situation
  2. What to do if something like this happens to you

If you need help with an insurance question, would you know who to call? Here is a link to phone numbers for filing claims with a host of different insurance companies.

One of the things we “organized” people like to do is repurpose. That’s exactly what Julie did with this very negative event in her life in hopes it would help others. We did the interview. Julie also wrote a detailed post on her own blog that you will want to read. It even includes a video explaining why the bad actor targeted her car. You will find that post here.

In particular, Julie gives the following advice to help keep yourself from being a target:

  • Keep your car in your garage. This recalls the quote, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” The safest place for your car is in your locked garage rather than in the driveway or on the street. Of course, this means that you might have to reduce the clutter in your garage and organize it to make room for your household’s cars
  • Park in well-lit, well-populated areas, especially at night. This obviously isn’t foolproof, as my car was stolen in broad daylight, at approximately 8:40 a.m., with 40 apartments directly facing my parking space.
  • Remove valuables from your car when you’re not in it. Keep a basket or bin in your vehicle or the garage to make it easy to carry things from car-to-home at the end of the day.
    • This advice isn’t designed to clutter-shame you, but why tempt thieves who might steal the contents of your car even if they don’t steal your entire car? My car was practically empty; not counting jumper cables in the hatchback/trunk area (which the thief never accessed), the only non-paper items in the interior car were two umbrellas, a $10 phone charger, and my driving eyeglasses.
    • The less you have in your car, the easier it is to remember what was stolen and to report it to the police (in case they can track fenced items) and your insurance company.
    • If you must leave valuables in the car when you are out and about, hide them to make the contents of the car, if not the car itself, look less desirable. Stash things in the trunk or under the seat, or even in an empty dog food bag or diaper box.

For more on Julie Bestry…

If you like the interview and enjoy the post Julie wrote, you’ll probably enjoy exploring her entire website: Best Results Organizing.

And, if Julie looks familiar, she has been a guest before. Here is a link to that interview entitled: Don’t Apologize: Organize!

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